29 December 2019
In the latest move, Malaysia took a stronger stand when Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah called China’s “nine-dash line” claim over most of the contested waterway “ridiculous”.
“For China to claim that the whole of South China Sea belongs to China, I think that is ridiculous,” Saifuddin said in Kuala Lumpur on December 20.
… Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said the rival claimants may seek to consolidate their positions on the South China Sea “as much as possible” before a code of conduct is agreed.
… “Most of the parties may seek to exercise self-restraint in order to keep tensions under control, so as to facilitate an atmosphere conducive for the talks to proceed,” Koh said. “[But] some of the claimants may still continue with moves to consolidate their position in the South China Sea – in part to do so as much as possible before [the code of conduct negotiations] conclude and impose future restraint upon them, or to use such ongoing moves to strengthen their bargaining power in the talks.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 30/12/2019